Oyo State governor, Senator Abiola Ajimobi yesterday assured workers that the state government would soon put smiles on their faces when the issue of national minimum wage is addressed.
He specifically told the workers that their pay would soon rise in compliance with the new minimum wage.
The governor while addressing the Oyo State chapter of Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) in his office at Agodi, Ibadan during a peaceful protest by NLC to demand for the implementation of N30,000 as the new national minimum wage, noted that the current minimum wage of N18,000 was too small.
Speaking through his deputy, Otunba Moses Adeyemo, the governor said every reasonable person knows that the N18,000 which is the current national minimum wage is very small because the price of goods and service have increased in the country.
He pointed out that the federal government led by President Muhammadu Buhari was committed to the welfare of the workers, adding that government will ensure speedy passage and implementation of the new national minimum wage.
He also assured the workers that the governor will deliver a letter from the labour unions to the president and urged the workers to be calm as all their grievances would be addressed.
Earlier, the chairman of NLC in Oyo State, Comrade Waheed Olojede said that the essence of the peaceful protest was to call on government to quickly pass the recommendation of the tripartite committee to the National Assembly so that they can enact it into law.
“We come today to express some of our demands particularly the implementation of the new national minimum wage as recommended recently by the committee constituted by the Federal Government of Nigeria.
“We are calling on the presidency to present the recommendation to the National Assembly so that the National Assembly can enact it into law,” he said.
The Oyo State NLC chairman added that Nigerian workers are wondering why the presidency is delaying to forward the recommendations to the lawmakers, noting that Nigerian workers deserve the best because they are the ones creating the wealth the nation shares.
Olojede pointed out that long after the commencement of the national minimum wage, other nations in West Africa had concluded and implemented their minimum wage.
“Nigeria as the giant of Africa should do the needful and see Nigerian workers as human beings, not as use and dump”, he said.
He reiterated further that there is no excuse for Nigerian governors not to pay N30,000 minimum wage because the governors have representative in the committee that recommended the new minimum wage.
“Nigeria governors should be ready because as soon as this recommendation is passed into law, they have no choice than to pay.
“There are still other issues on ground unresolved apart from the issue of the minimum wage in Oyo State, although the public service negotiating council has already forwarded a communiqué to the state government to address all issues that are on ground which needed the attention of the Oyo State government, and we are advising the state government to do the needful before it lead to something else,” he said.
He said Nigerian workers should remain resolute and be on ground until their needs are meet by both the government and the private sector.